Friday, October 7, 2016

Locker Room Banter, My Ass


Okay, I'm going to get real here for a moment. It pains me to have to admit it, but as a man I've occasionally made lewd and obnoxious comments about women. I've also turned my head from time to time at the sight of one. And, like many men, I've dabbled in the time-honored tradition of exaggerating a bit about how lucky I've been with the opposite sex. Spoiler alert, for most of my adult life I couldn't get lucky in a den of ill repute. Truth be told, I've said things in private that I would never utter in public.

That's why I wasn't all that surprised about the comments Donald Trump made on a hot mic regarding women. Given what we know about him, I would've been surprised if he hadn't said those things. But the thing that stands out most isn't his misogyny, or even his infidelity. Face it, he cheated on two wives. Was it really that revelatory that he cheated on his present one?

The most offensive part of the video for me occurred much later. You probably missed it because you were too busy choking on your bile. The part I'm referring to was when he said this:

"When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything...Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

The most profoundly disturbing thing about that statement was the sheer arrogance of the man; a man who believes his power and stature entitle him to do anything he wants with a woman and actually get away with it. It's the sort of thing a predator would say. He isn't just being a sexist pig; he's reveling in being able to grope women celebrities without recourse and with no more thought than you would give to reaching for a soft drink in the fridge.

We have talked an awful lot about equal pay for equal work, but precious little attention has been paid to equal respect. The fact is that in certain circles within both the entertainment and business communities, women are still thought of as entitlements. There's an assumption that their successes aren't earned the same way men's are. If a woman rises to the top, it's because they either slept their way there or they were the beneficiaries of government quotas. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with their abilities.

Donald Trump and his ilk belong to a world that still lives in the 1950s when men ran everything and women were there to serve them, whether sexually or otherwise. Indeed he has been quoted as saying that the reason he doesn't want his wife working is because "when I come home and dinner's not ready, I'll go through the roof."

Christ, the man is the walking embodiment of the series Madmen, even down to the ridiculous hair piece. Seriously, do you know anybody so obsessed with not letting people know they're bald that they would wear a rug that decrepit? Well, in the good old days, that happened a lot, because virility and a full head of hair went hand in hand. Why else do you think he carried on so when Marco Rubio questioned how big his penis was? Who else does that except an extremely insecure man?

But, you see, for the Donald Trumps of the world, size matters - A LOT! They have to be bigger, richer, more famous and more desired. Their egos will not accept anything less. Women aren't merely sex objects; they're a means to an end. Trump snaps his fingers and they get wet. Why? Because he's rich and famous. And since he lives by a different set of rules than the rest of us, he thinks he can get away with it.

Well this time he didn't get away with it. This time he got caught, and his campaign was forced to acknowledge his malfeasance. Trump himself issued a non-apology apology. Some pundits have publicly said this is finally the last straw. Pardon me, but we've heard that all too often before and each time he has managed to somehow survive. If Donald Trump were a cat, he'd have about thirty lives.

There's a reason why so many women are repulsed by Trump and that tape only validates that sentiment. The man represents everything that is wrong with America and the only just outcome this November would be if the nation sent him back to the scrap heap of history where he belongs.

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